When families traditionally moved from St. Paul's River to headlands or islands for the fishing season, children over seven were assigned chores but still had plenty of time for recreation. Since families were large, youngsters were never short of playmates among their siblings or neighbours.
"It was bliss," Chesley Griffin says of his childhood summers at Five Leagues with seven brothers, one sister, and various cousins. "We had great lots of fun, playing around with boats and catching fish—doing what our fathers did. We'd always fill up our little boats with kelp or thornfish or sticklebacks."
"There was a lot of freedom out there [at Salmon Bay]," Valerie Keats Conway recalls. "My favourite thing was running around over the hills and on the beaches."
Francie Nadeau Keats remembers playing Prisoner's Base, tag, and Hide and Seek in the tall grass on Old Fort Island and then on Grand Isle. "We also did a lot of beachcombing, especially after a big wind. We'd gather all these things that had come in with the waves. That was always interesting to me. I love rocks, so I collected rocks continuously."
The summer games that St. Paul's River children used to play reflected their ancestral roots. Under the name of barres, Prisoner's Base originated in medieval Europe. Players of one team sought to tag and imprison players of the other team who ventured out of their home base.
Two bat-and-ball games that were once popular in the summertime—Rounders and cricket—were first played in England several centuries ago.
In addition to organized sports, children used to wade or swim in the cold coastal waters. They still do that today. They also like to ride their bicycles around the village and play softball. But like young people all over the world, they're spending an increasing amount of time indoors using digital devices.